Catholic Recipe: Fruit Cake in Grapefruit Shells
- Large grapefruits
- 1 package yellow cake mix
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 4 eggs, unbeaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 2 cups cut dates (approximately 1 pound)
- 1/2 pound candied green pineapple, cut in narrow strips
- 1/2 pound whole red candied cherries
- 1 pound (4 cups) walnut halves, broken
- 1/2 cup flour
- Yield: 6 large grapefruit shells
- Prep Time: 3 weeks, 1 day, 3 hours
- Difficulty: • • • •
- Cost: $$$$
- For Ages: 15+
St. Leo's Abbey in St. Leo, Florida, has been called "the abbey founded on the bed of a river of orange juice," because the citrus groves tended by Benedictine monks of the abbey help finance their educational activities.
The abbey church, atop a knoll in the heart of one of the finest citrus areas in the world, dominates a hill-studded lake region dotted with red-tiled roofs and — in all directions — lavish with orange and grapefruit groves.
In addition to their citrus business, the monks raise their own beef animals and have a dairy herd. Students have fresh milk and homemade bread every day, as well as all the citrus fruits and juices they want!
The Brothers recommend the use of the fruit they raise in the following fine recipe.
Select large grapefruit of good shape and color. Cut in half, making zigzag edge. Remove pulp, being careful to leave all the thick part of the peel and not to break the shell. Cover shells with cold salted water; bring to boil; cook about 10 minutes. Drain off water. Repeat 3 or 4 times to remove bitter flavor from peel. Cool. Make a syrup with equal parts sugar and water. Use enough syrup to float the fruit. Cook to medium thick syrup; let fruit stand in syrup at least 24 hours, turning several times. Cook to very thick syrup. Remove shells from syrup and cool. If shells are large, invert each over small bowl to dry.
Empty cake mix into bowl. Add applesauce, eggs, salt, and extract. Beat 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Combine fruits and nuts; mix well with flour. Stir into batter. Fill candied grapefruit shells almost full. Bake at 275° for about 2-1/4 hours. Cool thoroughly. Wrap cakes tightly in foil; store in refrigerator or freezer until ready to use. (Cakes should be stored for 2 to 4 weeks before using to allow fruits to mellow and flavors to blend.) Makes enough to fill 6 large grapefruit shells.Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965